2014 Post-Mortem

(originally posted to my deviantART, edited for link redundancy)

To my friends, followers, subscribers, and watchers,

I only finished two full paintings this year, the Legend of Zelda oil commission that I didn’t get paid for (I forgive the guy but the memory of it stings), and the painting of the four living creatures.
I made a terrain model for my army reserve unit (they ended up not even getting to use it for planning because of poor scheduling) but somewhere towards the end of that project, I hit a burnout phase (around end of August/September was initial burnout, but right now November/December feels like maximum burnout. Really low motivation to do a lot of things).

In September, I started attending weekly figure drawing sessions again, and those figure paintings are posted to my art blog (which you’re reading). I might eventually upload them to dA later on.
I started a tumblr and instagram, (fenrysk.tumblr.com, instagram.com/fenrysk), and both will probably be redundant in terms of art that gets put on there. I will mostly be using instagram for sketchbook drawings that I don’t feel like scanning, and tumblr will just be a cross-post from instagram and relinking from dA for finished works. Feel free to follow if those platforms are more convenient for you.

My grandfather passed away this past Monday. He was in the ICU in China all last week and a half, and my dad went back to China to visit him. He passed away while my dad was on the flight back. I’m still trying to figure out what to make of my emotions. Not sure if I’m even ready to begin grieving yet.

As for the upcoming year, I want to really push myself to produce artwork. I have been slacking off for the last 4 years, and I think my most productive time was probably end of 2012 and early 2013 during this period.

I must remember who I am, and what I was created for. I must recall why I do what I do, how alive I feel when it’s happening.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Yours truly,
MingYe “Fenrysk” Zhu

2014 summer reflection

This summer has probably been the best since the summer of 2012. For the majority of 2012 and 2013, I feel like I had been functioning on auto-pilot. Raiding in WoW, watching SC2, going to church/worship team, Army reserve, and lastly, making art… I did not spend enough time with the people in my life and work to maintain the relationships I have built over time. I’m really grateful for the people who I got to hang out with in the summer of 2012, and the people I met at the beginning of fall in 2013.

Mostly, the pressure of Raiding and also the tuition fees from TAD were a total buzzkill for my life. Raiding had some good points because it kept my general level of professionalism and competence high. Learning and executing heroic difficulty fights was very demanding.

TAD, I still consider an overall loss. I wish I had stopped after the first semester. That’s pretty much all I have to say about that.

I completed three commissions in July this year, and am currently working on a terrain model for my Army unit for a training exercise in January 2015. Once I finish this project, I plan to get back into doing oil paintings. In addition to all of this, the best part of my summer has been just spending time with friends, both new and old. Taking time to simply enjoy people’s company is something I find valuable. One of the core things to learn through this is how to do life in relationship with other people, and how to do community well.

Here are the commissions I did, a CLG fan-art poster for a friend, and two stylized portraits of an Army buddy that came back from Afghanistan this year.





storm druid



I made this drawing last week, inspired to get back to the roots of what made drawing fun for me in the beginning. This is very much inspired by the classic Samwise/Metzen style of the Sons of the Storm. Classical Blizzard Style, if you will.

Friday sketches

It’s MLG Anaheim this weekend. It’s been a long while since I mentioned e-sports on this blog. Here’s a sketch loosely inspired by Edge of Tomorrow (which I still haven’t seen yet, but planning to). I had thumbnailed the image back at Jeremy Wilson’s booth during RVA’s First Friday. I would definitely like to push this sketch further, and maybe change up the color scheme to differentiate it from Edge of Tomorrow.



Here’s another ultra-loose virtual plein air sketch from the last two. I don’t think I’m spending enough time with these, but they get so boring so fast. I think I would have more fun maybe working in oils. I might just do studies from Noah Bradley’s ref packs instead.